Envision AESC Secures Permission for UK Gigafactory

Envision AESC secures planning permission for the UK’s first ‘at scale’ gigafactory, supporting the North East’s electric vehicle production

Envision AESC, announces its securing of formal planning permission for the UK’s first ‘at scale’ battery manufacturing plant. 

The world-leading battery division of global green tech company - Envision Group - will be constructing the plant at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), with a capacity of 9GWh and state of the art battery technology.

By developing the gigafactory, the new plant will form part of a £1bn partnership with Nissan UK to create an electric vehicle (EV) hub for next-generation production and accelerating the transition to net zero carbon mobility. 

‘‘We are extremely pleased with today’s decision, which means we can get on with the important job of building the plant and recruitment to fully resource the project team,” said Chris Caygill, UK Managing Director, Envision AESC.

What Does This Mean for Envision AESC?

The planning permission obtained by Envision AESC secures the company an investment of £450mn as part of the transformation project. By building the gigafactory Envision AESC will create 750 green jobs, and safeguard 300 jobs from its existing Sunderland plant. 

Construction of the plant is expected to start in 2022, to support battery production for 2024. This will also pave the way for future potential investment of £1.8bn at the site to generate 35GWh capacity and 4,500 new high-value green jobs by 2030.

While the company’s Sunderland plant has been supplying Nissan with batteries for its LEAF model for the last nine years, the new factory will produce batteries to power over 100,000 EVs annually, using new Gen5 battery cells. 

The Gen5 battery cell has a third more energy density to improve range, efficiency, and exceptional performance; including 100% safety record/zero critical incidents. 

“We are immensely proud of the work we have done with our strategic partners Nissan UK and Sunderland City Council so far, which has laid the foundations for affordable EVs and sustainable growth in the region for the next generations. As a growing global business, we will continue to push the boundaries of battery technology, which has made us a world-leading battery supplier, with a safety record that boasts no critical incidents during the last 10 years,” added Caygill.

Growing Localisation 

Not only will this investment power Nissan’s next generation of EVs, it will also support the growing localisation of vehicle parts and components production, advancing technology, and making batteries and EVS cheaper and more accessible. 

“This is a huge boost for the local economy, and indeed for UK Plc, part of a wider £1bn investment that will secure and create hundreds – thousands – of jobs. This is what we hoped IAMP would deliver when we embarked on this partnership with Sunderland City Council, and so, seeing Envision AESC’s plans advance is vindication of our commitment to this important job-creating site,” said Councillor Tracey Dixon, leader at South Tyneside Council.

Committed to Sustainability 

The new gigafactory will be the company’s greenest to date. Powered by 100% renewable energy and supported by a £80mn microgrid being developed by Sunderland City Council. 

Envision AESC’s plant willl also deploy integrated artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) smart technology to monitor and optimise energy consumption, predict demand and maintenance requirements, and utilise battery storage facilities.

“We welcome the news that planning permission has been approved for Envision AESC’S new Gigafactory. This is a fundamental part of our EV36Zero project, bringing together electric vehicle production, battery manufacturing and renewables, and we’re all excited to see the progress being made,” said Alan Johnson, Vice President, Manufacturing, Nissan Sunderland Plant.

“We are delighted to see this hugely ambitious development move forward. IAMP is a hugely significant development, and its ability to attract and then support businesses in advanced manufacturing is second to none, in terms of the assets of the site itself and the talent pool we have to drive it. We look forward to seeing Envision AESC move forward with this game-changing Gigafactory on a site that we are proud to be bringing forward in partnership with South Tyneside Council,” concluded Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council.


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